Principles of Marketing
22 March 2014
Ethics in Marketing Tobacco
Businesses and organizations have a responsibility to meet social obligations beyond earning profits within legal and ethical restrictions. “Ethics are moral principles and values that govern the actions and decisions of an individual or group” (see Marketing The Core 69). The purpose of ethics is to identify rules that should govern individuals and the products that are being sought after. Ethics are guided by the foundation or the values of an individual. Ethical issues arise in every facet of life, including businesses, which operate in a world of business ethics. Ethics in marketing has become a hot-button issue in our socially aware and politically correct environment. Ethical marketing has been seen as a corporate social responsibility but it is also very much dependent on each individual’s ethics. In the 1960’s smoking was being marketed as the healthy and trendy thing to do. Although cigarettes were being marketed as healthy and trendy, the reality is in the 1960's was a time when much of the health hazards of smoking were reported. The Surgeon General came out with a negative report on smoking and health and tobacco companies continued to advertise contrary to the report to maintain sales of cigarettes. Marketers in the 60s were being irresponsible and unethical in how they promoted cigarettes. “Tobacco is a plant that grows natively in North and South America. It is in the same family as the potato, pepper and the poisonous nightshade, a very deadly plant” (see History of Tobacco). Tobacco began growing in America about 6,000 B.C. and was used by American Indians as the cure all and painkiller for everything. “In 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, tobacco helped finance the revolution by serving as collateral for loans the Americans borrowed from France! Over the years, more and more scientists begin to understand the chemicals in tobacco, as well as the dangerous health effects smoking produces (see History of Tobacco). In the 1900’s cigarettes became the major tobacco product being sold. Although cigarettes became popular, there was a small group who began to launch an anti-tobacco campaign because of the deadly effects of tobacco. Despite this campaign, the demand for cigarettes began to grow and companies began to capitalize on the popularity and launch aggressive marketing campaigns to sell the product. When marketers in the 60’s began to aggressively promote the use of cigarettes, they choose to ignore the facts about the dangers of tobacco because cigarettes were popular among the general public. “Prior to 1976, the tobacco industry advertised their deadly products on television and radio” (see History of Tobacco Marketing). Television characters and attractive models were being used to sell cigarettes to young people in the 60s. They used billboards, Ad’s sports sponsorships and the light and mild sham, which promoted these types of cigarettes as being safer than the regular. The created the famous Marlboro man and Joe Camel. Magazines and newspapers were flooded with cigarette ads promising better lives for smokers. The tobacco companies were being faced with moral and ethical dilemmas and choosing to make money over promoting the truth. Companies to connect with its customers use marketing programs. Competition in markets cause many businesses to reconstruct their marketing plans in order to connect with more people and sell more products. “Marketing is the activity for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that benefit its customers, the organization, its stake holders and society at large” (see Marketing The Core 5). Marketing is not simple advertising; it delivers genuine benefits in the offering of goods and services to customers. Marketers find out what consumers need and want and create advertising to make the connection between the company and the consumer. In...
Cited: Kerin, Roger A., Steven William. Hartley, and William Rudelius. Marketing: The Core. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2004. Print.
Randall, Vernellia. "History of Tobacco." Boston University Medical Center, 2009. Web. 21 March. 2014.
"Warning to Parents: How Big Tobacco Targets Kids Today." Tobacco Industry Watch, 2012. Web. 21 March. 2014.
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